The Klamath Union varsity football team held off a late-game comeback against Hidden Valley on homecoming night this past Friday and won, 10-8.
All of the Pelicans points came off the foot or off the glove of senior wide receiver, Tony Ortiz. Ortiz scored first for KU at the 11:15 mark in the second quarter when he kicked a five-yard field goal to help his team lead early, 3-0.
Klamath Union nearly smelt blood on the following series when the Pelicans almost came away with a safety before Hidden Valley escaped a tricky situation.
With 5:25 left in the first half, starting quarterback Lamar Cuellar had the breath taken out of him on a tackle and had to be taken out of play. The junior quarterback attempted to come back at the start of the third quarter, and did, for a brief defensive play before he was unable to finish the game after he was not cleared by a health care professional.
Senior transfer Wayce Saluskin made the most in his opportunity to replace Cuellar. He showed his resiliency when he scrambled toward the middle of the field and found a trailing Ortiz, who caught a 27-yard pass with 8:36 left in the third quarter.
The Mustangs matched the Pelicans touchdown off a run from Jack Matthew. Hidden Valley had two chances to win the game. Its first came at the 3:31 mark in the fourth quarter, but a 27-yard field goal by Sequoia Hall hit the middle crossbar and failed to go in.
The Mustangs were put in a similar situation in the last moments of the game and were helped by a pass interference call from KU, which moved them into the red zone after they were on the Klamath Union 45-yard line. This time, a 37-yard field goal, proved to be too far for Hall.
“I was on the backside and I knew the play was going the other way. They were doubling me, literally all day and even had three guys on me. I thought I might as well do a slant and saw the quarterback on the run and I just made something happen,” Ortiz said.
“Everyone keeps doubting us and everyone keeps putting us lower than we should and we proved ourselves today. We are 2-1. I do not remember the last time we did that. We are all very happy to get this done.”
Photos from Klamath Union's homecoming victory against Hidden Valley, 10-8. Full gallery here: